By Lisa Kava
Earlier this summer, many Upper West Siders gathered to see Manhattanhenge, a phenomenon that occurs when the sunset is perfectly aligned with the grid of Manhattan’s east-west cross streets. The term Manhattanhenge comes from astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson who named it after Stonehenge, the monument in England where the summer solstice aligns with some of the stone structures.
For those who missed Manhattenhenge in May, there is good news. There are two more opportunities to witness this unique evening sky — Wednesday, July 12 at 8:20 p.m. (full sun), and Thursday, July 13 at 8:21 p.m. (half sun). Those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the phenomenon can do so on Thursday, July 13th at 7 p.m. at the American Museum of Natural History, when AMNH astrophysicist and senior scientist Jackie Faherty will give a 3-D presentation about the science and history of Manhattanhenge in the Museum’s LeFrak Theater. Tickets are required for the presentation, costing $15 for general admission and $12 for AMNH members. To purchase tickets, click here.
After the presentation, a viewing party, FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, will take place at 79th Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, which will be closed from 3:30–9:30 p.m. for the event. There will be live music performed by the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra.
The location — in front of the new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation — is considered one of the best spots to view Manhattanhenge, according to deGrasse Tyson, since it is a wide block with two-way traffic. Other recommended cross streets are 14th, 34th, 42nd and 57th Streets. (Get as far East as you can.)
Editor’s note: This article was updated to clarify that the viewing party is free and open to the public. We apologize for any inconvenience.
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